Lisa Pierce Reisz and David Shillcutt, Members of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, co-authored the article titled “Major Updates to Substance Use Disorder Treatment Confidentiality Requirements Increase Alignment with HIPAA but Raise New Questions,” published by the American Health Law Association. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Following the release of the new final rule (Final Rule) governing confidentiality of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment information under 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (Part 2), providers, health plans, and intermediaries are trying to navigate their new obligations, understand the potential risks posed by the new enforcement landscape, and plan for the necessary changes to their day-to-day operations. Although the Final Rule will in some ways lessen the burden on Part 2 programs by aligning their obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Part 2, the road to compliance may present challenges. SUD treatment providers will need to update their patient consents and Notice of Privacy Practices (NoPP), and all entities that handle Part 2 records will need to figure out how to attach consent forms to disclosures of Part 2 records, update their business associate/qualified service organization (QSO) agreements and policies and procedures for breach notification and other compliance obligations. Some providers have already begun updating their patient consent forms to take advantage of the new flexibilities offered by the Final Rule; however, all regulated entities should begin preparing for the compliance deadline of February 16, 2026.

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